January 3rd, 2019


A perfect storm is upon us – lashing with vengeance at the last vestiges of healthy space in the oceans. Keystone species are vanishing, poaching is rampant, plastics are ubiquitous, and coral reefs are fading. The current U.S. administration’s pro-industry agenda makes these threats all the more menacing.

At Sea Shepherd Legal, we share in your hope that the oceans can weather the storm — to rise resilient, to prevail against the odds. We stand committed to using our expertise, extensive global network, and unwavering passion to ensure a future for the oceans and the extraordinary life that inhabits them. Our work throughout 2017 illustrates that commitment.

This report provides just a glimpse of our progress in 2017 and showcases how much we have accomplished in the few short years since we conceived of founding the only law firm dedicated solely to enhancing legal protections for the oceans. Whether demanding policy reform, collaborating with governments, or pushing for the prosecution of poachers, we are securing justice for the sea.

Thank you for your own commitment to marine life, for standing with us at the helm, and for your confidence in our ability to fight the good fight.


For the oceans,

Catherine Pruett

Executive Director, Sea Shepherd Legal

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December 21st, 2018

Last week, Peruvian judges and other government officials gathered in the Amazonian city of Pucallpa for the Second International Congress for Environmental Justice. With more than 112 judges in attendance, in addition to representatives from Chile, Colombia, and the Organization of American States, the participants met over the course of three days to improve judicial treatment of offenses against the environment.

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December 15th, 2018

For far too long, offenses against the environment have been seen as just that – offenses, typically of an administrative nature, rather than crimes. This is especially true in the context of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Government responses to IUU fishing have historically included license revocations and low-level fines – hardly the stuff of meaningful deterrence. But with IUU fishing decimating marine wildlife around the world, it is high time for a paradigm shift.

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December 11th, 2018

Lolita, the last survivor from the largest orca capture operation in U.S. history, is a slave to entertainment. Her prison is the Miami Seaquarium. There, she is forced to spend her days circling the waters of a tank that is just 80 feet across at its widest point. The tank has a maximum depth of only 20 feet, and it is further compromised by a concrete platform that nearly splits the tank in two. For a being that would swim up to 100 miles per day and dive hundreds of feet in an ocean environment, this is hell on earth.

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December 10th, 2018

Kudos to the Peruvian Ministry of Production (PRODUCE), through the Directorate General of Supervision, Surveillance and Sanction of the Vice Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, for seizing 19 tonnes of giant squid that had been illegally caught. The confiscated products were on the Chinese fishing boat Run Da 608.

Read more here: https://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=...

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December 4th, 2018

On July 4, 2018, the world’s largest factory vessel, the Damanzaihao, left Peru following a month-long detention.In spite of local prosecutors’ valiant efforts to keep the Damanzaihao in port pending a criminal investigation of illegal fishing, a Peruvian court determined that further detention was unwarranted.

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October 19th, 2018

On October 17th, at the invitation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sea Shepherd Legal presented at the FishCRIME 2018 symposium. The purpose of the symposium was to “advance efforts towards high level political commitment to cooperatively addressing transnational organised fisheries crime.”

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October 15th, 2018

The Trump administration is trying to strip wildlife of all legal protections. The latest move is an attack on the very cornerstone of U.S. environmental law - the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sea Shepherd Legal is fighting to keep the ESA intact.

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October 3rd, 2018

Japan's“scientific” whaling in the North Pacific has been declared illegal by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and could result in trade sanctions unless Japanese whalers cease hunting endangered sei whales. Japan kills whales under the pretext of "scientific research." In reality, however, the majority of the whale meat is eaten by Japanese consumers.

Simply put, Japan is violating the CITES ban on international trade of sei whales by catching the whales beyond its territorial waters and bringing them back to Japan.

Sea Shepherd Legal's esteemed partner, Professor Erica Lyman from theInternational Environmental Law Project at Lewis and Clark Law School, stated: “There was no question about Japan’s non-compliance. With this decision, the CITES Standing Committee put the integrity of the convention above politics,”


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September 21st, 2018

On September 20, 2018, Sea Shepherd Legal filed suit against the Trump Administration for failing to adhere to mandated processes under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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